The tale begins at Arkham Asylum where a time machine made by Gorilla Grodd ends up transporting the major villains of Gotham, Batman and his crime-fighting team to ancient Japan.
Batman, last to be enveloped by the time machine, arrives two years later back in time.
The villains have wrecked havoc in the meantime, displaced the original feudal lords, built weapon-heavy super castles and are constantly battling each other for supremacy and dominance.
Batman now has the cliffhanger test in stopping the master criminals from rupturing the past and consequently, the present.
He then has the seemingly impossible task to taking everyone safe and sound, back to the present.
What happens when manga-based illustrators carve their magic to reinvent Batman and his enemies via time-travel in ancient Japan?
You get Batman Ninja, richly illustrated, stylish Batman animation movie that is particularly good and has a lovely, beautifully orchestrated Batman-Joker finale fight that more than makes up for some sluggishness and lack of any major surprises.
That giving up is not even an option for Batman is a lovely emphasis, as is the plot element when, in the absence of modern technology, Batman is left with only his will to overcome his enemies.
The illustrated rich manga texture, bold colours and style, lavishly imagined battle of the castles may not be everybody's plate of Sushi, I loved it though.
The Joker, brilliantly voiced (Wataru Takagi, Japanese version) and drawn is the scene-stealer.
Why is the Joker way ahead of the pack in Batman villains? Batman Ninja gave me more reason to wonder on the uncanny Bats-Joker chemistry.
They are a perfect foil, one can sense Batman having empathy for Joker - after all the Joker is deranged and delirious, he may be less at fault as compared to other foul-minded villains.
But the madness and the dash of unpredictability also makes him the most dangerous of the lot.
Batman almost has his face ripped off by a Joker move and yet, Batman holds his ground, avoids killing anyone, and fights clean against all odds.
For more fun, watch the Junpei Mizusaki-directed Batman Ninja in the original Japanese audio version with subtitles. The Batman story attains a nice, robust rural flavour in that language.
Definitely worth a watch for fans of Gotham's eternal protector.
(Batman Ninja is streaming on Netflix (India).)